Too many festivals, less impact

Summer is here with its myriad of festivals.

Just imagine, in the next few months, the partygoer gets invited to as many fêtes as the Blantyre Arts Festival, Likoma Festival, Lake of Stars and Sand Festival, all on the heels of the Sound and Light festival a weekend ago.

I wish I would find this trend an exciting one, but if truth be told, I find it problematic because of the way we sometimes split hairs.

The problem here is not how many parties one has to attend, but finding the reason to attend more than one of them!

You see, apart from a few foreign faces to grace one or two shows, it will be the same local line-up billed for the rest of the performances; Lucius Banda, Lulu, Dan Lu, Maskal, Skeffa, Piksy, Black Missionaries.

This is to say nothing about the hundreds of weekly back to back township pea-sized shows the same artists are part of.

What this means is the reveller will have the same menu regurgitated over and over again, in a time as short as 12 weeks. What is the impact?

Malawians may be used to watching the same band every week, yes, but these are petty shows that cost as low as K1500. But here we are talking of concerts for which the organisers would expect the reveller to cough more and the artist would expect a better impact.

This kind of planning is not good for both the reveller and the artist.

Unless we get so organised, we will keep on having mini sized shows whose exposure for the artist is as good as a backhouse birthday party.

We need to learn to work together on big projects to create big stage performances that shake the continent and catapult our artists to the core of intercontinental revelation.

Otherwise, we will keep on experiencing this ‘outbreak’ of festivals every summer, but the impact still millions of light years from from the sought pomp of a carnival.

We have plenty resources to plan around, not only the lake which seems to now be a diluted idea of a summer festival venue.

We need great ideas and they can come from planning together!

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